Boston – For a variety of reasons, the three candidates seeking to oust Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick in November do not favor the proposed Cape Wind project on Nantucket Sound. Incumbent Democratic Governor Patrick stands alone on promoting the wind farm as a smart, green energy resource for Massachusetts. Among voters, it is a mixed bag of opinion.
As a resident and voter, I am not so sure if it is about a cost effective energy alternative or a political gambit on Patrick’s part. The jury is still out on this renewable resource being a good fit for my state right now.
Is the 130-turbine wind farm project such a great deal for the consumers of Massachusetts? If so, then why all the opposition? Would there be less opposition from Massachusetts residents and candidates if the project were located offshore in another part of the state?
Candidates Opposition Raise Flag For Voters
In the overall scheme of things as an average person, I admit I have a lot to learn about wind farms as a clean energy alternative. I research and try to educate myself on renewable resources. I believe it to be a worthy and positive mission.
As an average person who likes to stay abreast of what is happening in Massachusetts, though, I am intrigued that all three of the governor’s opponents want to table wind farm energy and focus on other issues in the state. Why?
The candidates running against and butting heads with Governor Patrick’s push for green energy are politically distinct, just like their view on the offshore wind farm proposal at the Cape. Charles D. Baker is a Republican gubernatorial candidate.
Timothy P. Cahill, currently the State Treasurer, is running for governor as an independent. The only female in the race for governor is Jill Stein, a Green-Rainbow Party candidate. Of all the candidates, I was sure Jill Stein would be a proponent of the wind farm. She, too, has issues, however. She distrusts how the contract aspect is handled.
After viewing local Boston television coverage and studying a number of articles about an Aug. 17 debate between the four candidates, I am more confused and highly concerned over this energy project. Tim Cahill pulled no punches about the wind power project when he told reporters outside Suffolk University, that he would stop the project, if he has the opportunity as governor.
Apparently, Tim Cahill believes the price of wind power would be more expensive. In turn, he feels it would take away the competitive edge, forcing businesses to move from the state.
If this were true, I desire to know why Governor Patrick would waste his campaign focus on something that, in the end, may weaken my state’s economy. Green-Rainbow Party candidate, Jill Stein may have a partial answer.
Is Patrick’s Drive Fueled by Campaign Contributions?
Also in the recent debate, Jill Stein pointed out that executives from some of the companies involved in the wind farm project have provided Governor Patrick with 2010 re-election campaign contributions.
Deval Patrick did not deny this. Instead, he countered that he was not swayed by donations — he believes the wind farm will be beneficial to the the Commonwealth. He concluded this on his own. Campaign money did not factor in I guess.
Before you jump on the every-candidate-takes-campaign-donations bandwagon — you must admit that it does smack a bit of being re-elected and less about concern for the Commonwealth. Why would the governor focus so intently on an issue that is producing so much resistance?
Despite the controversy surrounding the Cape Wind project, most people in Massachusetts, stand behind the development of green energy alternative resources. It is the political conniving and questionable contracting that generally gets in the way of that progress.
About energy policy, Republican Charles Baker sums it up best. He believes an energy policy should contain three principles: “…do no harm financially; diversify; and make sure contracts are procured competitively and transparently.”
Beth Daly, “Patrick, rivals clash over Cape Wind farm,” BostonGlobe.com
Patrick Cassidy, “Wind Farm Powers Gubernatorial Debate,” iStockAnalyst.com
NECN News Video
AP Article – masslive.com